Los Angeles (June 25, 2008) – Reason.tv host Drew Carey says the political discussion over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been boiled down – incorrectly – to “all those Mexicans taking our jobs.”
Carey says the current dialogue about trade and jobs completely ignores the role technology plays in increasing productivity and creating new jobs. Companies like Google have created entire industries that didn’t exist a decade ago. As manufacturing jobs in Ohio and Michigan disappear, new tech jobs emerge in other states.
While CNN’s Lou Dobbs and other pundits regularly complain that American companies are “selling us out for cheap, foreign labor,” they don’t complain that technology is putting workers out of business. We can now plan and book our vacations online, without travel agents. We can buy movie tickets without going to the theater’s cashiers. And today’s toll roads use electronic transponders, not toll booth cashiers. Should America stop seeking technological advances?
“It’s easy to stand in an empty factory and blame NAFTA and Mexico,” Carey says in the Reason.tv video. “But free trade is a lot like technology: it lowers the price of things for consumers, expands markets for businesses, and provides jobs…Maybe someday we’ll realize that, like technology, trade gives us more good stuff than bad.”
Full Video Online
The Reason.tv Drew Carey video, Mexicans and Machines: Why It’s Time to Lay Off NAFTA, is online at http://reason.tv/video/show/451.html. An archive of Drew Carey’s Reason.tv videos is online at http://reason.tv/featuredvids/.
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About Reason Foundation
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Chris Mitchell, Director of Communications, Reason Foundation, (310) 367-6109